A couple of weeks ago, we spoke about the war between Instagram and Snapchat and the dynamic ways in which Instagram has been evolving. Well, it appears as if Instagram is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to dominate the social media game as it has rolled out two new features to increase user engagement in every way possible. The fact that a friendly video appears on top of your feed (as a story) to inform you of every update means that every user is tempted to try out the new gimmicks at least once.

Live Videos with Friends

Now users have the option of adding another person to their live videos, which means two accounts could be broadcasting together and viewers will be able to see it on the same screen.

However, only a viewer of the original live video can be added, instead of the entire list of followers. This seems to be a move to protect users from unnecessary invites. Since users can always co-ordinate to appear in a live video together, it won’t hamper usability of the feature at all.

Once a friend has been added to the live video, the screen will split horizontally.

go live on insta with friendsThe update is available both for Android and IOS.

New Presentation Format for Stories

In case you forget to check out the ‘stories’ of all your followers, Instagram will now give you a sneak peek of what’s inside right in the middle of your scrolling spree. A rectangular box will be present above every bubble which will showcase a screenshot of the story uploaded by the people on your list. As more and more people have been using the Instagram story feature lately, it makes sense for the platform to focus on this feature and try to boost its usage.

instagram-recent-stories

The potential for advertising and marketing on Instagram stories is huge, especially with the ‘Swipe Up’ feature that has been incorporated into it. It allows users to insert a link on their story which can work as a CTA button. If users like what they see on a story, they can simply swipe up to open the relevant link. And now that Instagram will even prompt your followers to see your content, viewership is bound to increase.

Recently, Instagram also added a superzoom lens for Stories, which comes with its own sound effect. After Boomerang, this is the first unique camera addition they have made and it has become quite popular already. They are also trying out a new stop-motion camera addition to Stories. It is only being tested at the moment but if the past year is any indication, this might be another victory they can add to their list.